31 students graduate from latest round of Calvary Cessnock Traineeship program

Thirty One Trainees were recognised at Calvary Cessnock Graduation Evening

On Thursday 22 March over 160 employees, families and friends braved the wild weather to celebrate thirty one successful trainees’ graduation dinner and ceremony at Potters Tavern Marquee in the Hunter Valley.
The special occasion was marked with National Director of Mission Calvary Healthcare Mark Green and National Director Calvary Retirement Communities Bryan McLoughlin reflecting on the impact that this program has had in developing great staff that deliver quality care to our Residents at Calvary Cessnock.

The Calvary Cessnock Traineeship program ‘locals caring for locals’ commenced in 2012, and was initially established by Calvary Cessnock Training Manager Mr Greg Burgoyne, now retired, our partnerships with Nova- Skill & WEA have continued to grow, and the program has created a lot of interest, having seen over 130 local people now trained and employed in the Aged Care Sector with Calvary.

The program is designed to assist suitable people to gain entry into the aged care industry, and participants undertake 3 units of competency from CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support and 2 units of competency from FSK20113 Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways. This part of the program runs for 9 weeks and on completion the successful graduates may be offered the opportunity to complete the full CHC33015 Certificate III Individual Support (ageing) qualification. The pre-vocational training component of the program is subsidised by the NSW Government under its Smart and skilled initiative and Calvary employ successful applicants into a 12 month Traineeship program.

Thirty one students were given the opportunity to participate in the program in this intake and students were partnered with Calvary Cessnock Staff mentors during the program and strong bonds were quickly established, with the sharing of knowledge, experience and support evident during the program.

Calvary Cessnock General Manager Kristin Smith said “This program is about finding individuals that want to make a difference in our Resident’s lives. You have to love working with older people and you have to have a can do attitude. The pre-vocational program allows both Calvary and the individual to decide if the aged care industry is for them. We have had many trainees go on to full employment in the industry or further their studies in a variety of health care related fields, including nursing”.

Calvary Cessnock General Manager Kristin Smith, together with WEA Trainer Rick Romeyn, Calvary Cessnock Training Coordinator Karen Bland & Education Specialist Kylie Williams presented the Graduate Certificates and Special Awards. This year’s award recipients were Matthew Stokes receiving the Trainee of the Year award for his outstanding efforts throughout the program, Wendy Gore received the General Manager’s award, Aimee Simon received the Academic Achievement Award, the Rising Star Award was received jointly by Jessie Gee & Stephanie Shepherd, the Mentor of the Year was awarded to Michelle Saunders and eight staff members received VALUES awards, these Trainee’s reflected Calvary’s values of Respect, Healing, Hospitality & Stewardship to a high standard during the program.

Kristin Smith said “The enthusiasm and commitment they have shown as they undertook the journey has been a privilege to witness, the experience has changed lives and created new pathways. Celebrating with Trainee’s and their family and friends at graduation was a fitting end to program that has grown our Community at Calvary Cessnock, we are all so proud of them and look forward to welcoming this new group of new staff to our Team. “

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